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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Commentary: Although they fell short, Arizona softball should be remembered in 2010”

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — The 2010 Arizona Wildcats will go down as the team that finished second to the UCLA Bruins at the Women’s College World Series.

This is the team that will be remembered for being swept in two games in the championship series.

For pitching to UCLA’s Megan Langenfeld, who batted .706 in the WCWS, in the eight inning of Game 1, and then pitching to her again in the first inning of Game 2.

For having the comeback win in Game 1, and letting it slip away on a miscommunication in the outfield.

For getting so close, but finishing so far.

Despite the sputter at the end, this should also be the team that is remembered for being the first since 1992 to lose its opening-round game and battle back to make it to the championship round in the WCWS.

This is the team that rode a freshman arm throughout the season and into Oklahoma City.

Arizona’s Kenzie Fowler had the second best freshman season in Arizona history. She threw four games in two days at the WCWS to keep this team’s dream of a national title alive.

And along the way, she threw games while her hand was numb — to the point where she was forced to stop because she could no longer grip the ball.

She was part of the team that was swept in the regular season by defending national champion Washington and caused Arizona to have a “”team meeting”” — a mid-season crisis, if you will.

But this team knocked off that same Washington team and its ace, two-time national player of the year Danielle Lawrie, in a must-win situation in Oklahoma City.

This is the team that fended off WCWS darlings Hawaii, the nation’s leader in home runs and scoring.

This is the team that defeated Tennessee twice in one day after being mercy ruled to the very same Lady Volunteers three days earlier.

This is the team that dealt with the loss of catcher Lini Koria’s mother. This is the team that became her family and became the support, the bond that she required in her time of need.

This Arizona team brought its three seniors back to the championship series and gave the underclassmen an experience that will only help them in their future as softball players.

This is the team that now wants nothing more than to replay the last two days, change the outcome and take home the national title instead of seeing it go to a conference rival.

But this is the team that will only grow stronger, closer and more determined. The one that had to battle the long and winding road through the nation’s toughest conference. And the one that restored Arizona back to the championship-caliber team that it has been known for.

— Nicole Dimtsios is a journalism junior. She can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu

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